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I was looking through some old meta posts, mostly about tags, and I found this post.

I originally thought:

Hey, I can fix this! There are only 7 tags, and I have editing power, so I can get rid of a bad tag in 20 minutes by myself!

I edited one of those posts, but before submitting the edit, I hesitated. Obviously, if I had less than 2,000 rep this would be inappropriate since it would clutter the review queue. But since I can edit, is it appropriate to mass-edit to get rid of a tag?

My main concern is that there wasn't a clear consensus on the fate of the tag. I think it's pretty obvious that it isn't adding a whole lot, but I wanted to be sure.

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  • 1) I haven't seen users frown here that the main page is being flushed. What you say is basically what we did at TRE. No one was unhappy, unlike what I've seen in some other metas. 2) I very much appreciate that you want to help us, but there are other tags with more obvious fates. I myself see some use in that tag, much more than for tags like [difference]. – M.A.R. Mar 18 '16 at 9:17
  • I often look at the "newest" tags and try to nip some of those in the bud. Often tags like 'that' get created by learners that don't know the best tag to use and they will be self perpetuating if we don't get those questions tagged more appropriately. – ColleenV Mar 18 '16 at 12:51
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I think you should, but I'm only saying that because I've done it myself :)

Fewer, more meaningful tags is good for the site. If only 7 questions have been asked for a tag that's been around a while, then maybe it's not a useful tag. If the tag has a wiki and it's difficult to find better tags for the questions, then I leave it alone. You won't know though until you look at the questions with an eye toward getting rid of the tag. Edits can always be rolled back if someone objects.

While I'm removing the tags, I use it as an opportunity to do a full editing pass on the question, especially making sure the title reflects the real question. I look over the comments to see if any are obsolete. I look over the answers to see if any need up-voting, etc. That way even if I don't completely blow away the tag, I've done some good.

When I do the retagging, I look at the tag wikis for the tags I'm going to apply and make sure they look OK as well. It takes longer than 20 minutes, but I think it's a good way to cut a manageable slice of editing to do. Another advantage is that it sometimes causes older questions to get some additional attention.

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